Crest of Nuneaton Griff Football Club

Nuneaton Griff

The Heartlanders

Nuneaton Griff Football Club, nicknamed “The Heartlanders,” is a non-league football club based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Established in 1972, they currently compete in the Midland League Division One, which is part of the tenth tier of English football. The team calls The Pingles Stadium their home ground.

Founded in 1972 as Nuneaton Amateurs, the club emerged after a dispute at Co-op Sports F.C. led members to move to Nuneaton Griff and Coton Miners Welfare Ground. Nine players and officials, each contributing £1, established the new club with Colin Wetton as the first manager and Colin Rathbone as Chairman. Their inaugural game saw them defeat Jet Blades 2-1. Though their first season was promising, a championship was denied due to a scheduling conflict. They found success in the Birmingham Junior Cup and won the Coventry Telegraph Cup.

Accepted into the Coventry and Alliance Suburban League Premier Two, they were promoted to the top division after a successful season. Although Colin Wetton left in 1975, Nuneaton Griff, as the club was now known, achieved several honors before facing a period of decline. John Gore took charge in the mid-1980s, reviving the team and later persuading Mark Green to come out of retirement in 1996. Under Green’s leadership, the club dominated the Coventry Alliance and won the Midland Football Combination Premier Division in their first season there, achieving a historic double victory by winning the Endsleigh Challenge Cup and the Coventry Telegraph Cup on consecutive days at Villa Park and Highfield Road.

The club has since remained competitive in the Premier Division, experiencing growth and giving many local players their start. Several managers, including the Farmer brothers, have led the team, with notable successes such as reaching the FA Vase’s last eight under Charlie Reardon. John Farmer stepped down in 2017, succeeded by Courtney Belford and later Brett Clark. Dave Stringer took over in late 2018, followed by Adam and Iain Green as joint managers in 2019. Sam Belcher stabilized the club in the 2021/22 season, leading them to an 8th place finish.